11 Apr 2019 14:58

Gazprom mgmt board recommending 2018 dividend of 10.43 rubles per share, as previously stated

MOSCOW. April 11 (Interfax) - The management board at Gazprom on Thursday decided to recommend a 2018 dividend of 10.43 rubles per share, in line with previous statements by the Russian gas giant's management, a source with knowledge of the situation told Interfax.

The total payout might be 247 billion rubles.

The recommendation will be passed to the board of directors, which usually discusses dividends in the middle of May.

Gazprom paid 8.04 rubles a share or 190 billion rubles in total for 2017.

Gazprom's management has linked the prospects of increasing dividends, which have remained virtually frozen for the past few years, to the company getting through the peak in its investments. The Finance Ministry has for several years been expecting Gazprom to pay half of its earnings to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as dividends, and has been raising the mineral extraction tax (MET) for gas at the end of a year to compensate the shortfall for the budget on the 38.37%-federal stake. So the state receives its half of IFRS earnings on shares from Gazprom, unlike other shareholders.

The 2019 budget calls for 214.99 billion rubles in dividends to be received from Gazprom. That would work out at 23.67 rubles a share. But going by Gazprom's projections, payments on the 38.37% stake will only amount to 95 billion rubles, so the other 120 billion rubles might again have to be sought via elevating the MET rate at the end of 2019.